Application for $5 million from federal fund decried as affront by critics, but board member says it will be decided strictly by grant criteria
Jewish groups mostly silent on issue.
Assistant Managing Editor
News that the organization planning an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero has applied for $5 million in federal recovery funds for programming has reawakened a controversy that largely fell silent months ago.
Yeshiva University is enmeshed in its own battle over gay and lesbian couples less than a month after the Reform movement affirmed the right of its rabbis to officiate at same-gender commitment ceremonies.
It has been the setting for art exhibitions and military stagings.
It is cavernous and utilitarian.But on short notice, for the Ten Days of Repentance, the Seventh Regiment Armory on the Upper East Side was turned into a house of worship.
Within days of the late-August fire that gutted Central Synagogue, New York City's oldest Reform Congregation, Gov. George Pataki granted permission for religious activities to be held in the Armory, a half-mile away, on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.
Then the work began.
'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." And a Jewish scholar, a Christian scholar and an Islamic scholar recently explained what those words (and some others in the Bible) mean.
The representatives of the three monotheistic faiths offered their insights into the opening of Genesis, the description of the world's creation, at a biblical study session at Central Synagogue in Manhattan.
On the morning after Kristallnacht, 8-year-old Alfred Gottschalk walked with his grandfather, Gustav Gerson, to the Oberwesel synagogue. The building, located near Germans’ homes in the Rhineland village, had escaped the fires that destroyed thousands of Jewish sites in Germany and Austria the night of Nov. 9, 1938. Instead, it was trashed and tarred.
Katrin Yaghoubi wanted to find a synagogue with gemutlichkeit. That’s German for coziness. And it had to have eshtemah. That’s Farsi for community.
And a rabbi whose services kept her interest. That’s English for not boring.
It took her almost eight years.
An Iranian Jew born in Germany, Yaghoubi now lives in Manhattan but her shul is in Great Neck, home to her mother, one of her three siblings and thousands of other Iranian Jews.
The Schneider family of Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester is running out of shelf space. The bookcase in their living room is packed with the chess books, in Russian, that Dimitri brought from his native Riga, and the ones in English he bought after the family immigrated to the United States eight years ago.
There are the chess sets that Dimitri likes to buy. And the trophies he keeps winning.